Returning from my editor’s memorial, I revisited Hudson River artist and naturalist Frederick Church’s wonderful home, Olana. Chock full of ‘Orientalist’ items like Persian rugs, Moroccan Windows, and even a stuffed peacock, it reminded me of a huge version of the treehouse in Sausalito where I wrote my early books. Inspiration! Here are views of, and from, Olana, and Church’s paintbox.
My visit to Mont St Michel & Chartres One of the questions on the Graduate Record Exam before I got into grad school was: “The author of Mont Saint Michel & Chartres was also the author of what other book?” Answer: The Education of Henry Adams! Having read Henry Adams’ autobiography (written modestly in third person) I got the answer right. And I’d read Adams’ luscious descriptions and histories of thes
I’ve just returned from doing research in London, where I met up once again with St George, one of my favorite saints! As the card states, “In Genoa, the houses were often built in narrow, steep streets. This made the lintel the best place for any exterior decoration. It was often carved with images of St George and the Dragon or the Annunciation. These signalled the piety of the owner and sometimes included re
I went to Paris for my French book tour, and over that weekend, I tried to go to Notre Dame on my birthday! But instead, I ended up going to a wonderful restaurant on the Left Bank and some art supply stores. The next day happened to be Palm Sunday, so I went to Notre Dame, but it was closed for the Mass – or so I thought! I stood out of the way of the tourist lines, at the center gate, when suddenly there was